Foreclosed OC Townhome Mistakenly Sold Twice

ForeclosuresAuction ServiceOrange County Register

SAN CLEMENTE -- A paperwork mix-up is being blamed for a real estate snafu that resulted in one townhome being legally sold to 2 separate parties.

It all started in March when Douglas Garhartt and Brandon Lively closed escrow on a foreclosed townhome in San Clemente.

It was a great deal: three-bedrooms for $365,000, well below the $712,552 owed on the loan.

Just days later an investment group, Saint John Trust, bought the home at auction.

Garhartt says he learned of the auction the day it took place.

He says he came home and one of his neighbors told him that someone had come by to change the locks.

Eviction notices followed.

"It was just very odd to be getting served an eviction notice and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, they could serve me anywhere' and that's embarassing," Lively told KTLA.

When both side compared documents, they realized each had paid for the property and were given the deed and a set of keys.

"The investors are not to blame. We're not to blame. The only person to blame in this situation is the bank," Garhartt said.

What makes the story even more bizarre is that same bank -- OneWest -- was involved in both deals.

In court papers, OneWest, formerly Indymac, blames the escrow company, Point Break Escrow Inc., saying it closed the sale by mistake.

According to OneWest, they didn't receive the final HUD1 form required 48-hours before the scheduled closing date.

But Point Break denies the allegation says the form was delivered in plenty of time.

A deed record search currently shows that Garhartt and Lively received a grant deed on March 11, and that Saint John Trust was issued a trustee's deed on March 26.

It will now be up to a court to determine who is the real owner.


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